Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Is it really an accident

(38 Posts)
knackeredknitter Sun 14-Apr-13 02:32:40

Just to list a few behaviours, wondering if I am over-reacting about this...
H always manages to somehow hurt the children, he says accidentally.
Some examples:
he hurt ds1 with the door as he came through it by closing it too early, when telling him to come inside from the garden because he had been fighting with his siblings;
he pushed ds1 back when ds1 attacked him, and in the process ds1 hurt his head on the radiator;
he pushed ds3 back because ds3 pushed him, sending ds3 into the wall.
There are other numerous examples.
None of the children are hurt enough to bruise, just their egos are shot enough for them to always tell me about it, they always complain to me, and I feel that I should always defend them so I do in that I have words with H and make him apologise to them, but am also worried about the way H apologising.
Lately Ds1 has started saying to me that he is confused about whether he is misreading the situation and maybe he is imagining alot of things and exaggerating them in his own mind. Yesterday, ds1 somehow scratched his finger when entering the bathroom, and showed it to me to see if he should put some anti-septic cream on it. I went to get some, and in the meantime he had another agruement with his father, and said that his father had hit him on his scraped finger and made it bleed. His finger was now bleeding and slightly swollen. H protested it was an accident, I did not believe him and told ds that his father should not have done that.
Ds1 is on the autistic spectrum, so H says that because of this he misreads things and is hypersensitive, which I disagree with. Today ds1 is saying that he does not remember the incident about the finger sad
I never have these problems with him. Plus it does not explain things with ds3.
I told h that I want him to move out tomorrow, that this is the last straw, and I am fed up of the fact that he never takes responsibility for his actions, and that I don't believe that he can have that many "accidents" with the children.
But he is acting as if nothing has happened, and is refusing to move out.
He insists that everything was accidental
I don't believe him, but feel stuck

knackeredknitter Sun 14-Apr-13 02:33:33

So does it sound as if I am making a mountain out of a molehill.
Or am I right to be frightened that the children might one day be badly hurt by him

NumTumDeDum Sun 14-Apr-13 02:53:13

I would generally urge caution but there seem to be a lot of incidents and in this case I think your gut instinct may well be right. At the very least I would discuss this with a solicitor or child protection for advice. Please keep posting this sounds potentially very serious. He should be taking your concerns seriously, if he won't even discuss it then I think you need to get some RL support. You need to be satisfied your children are safe.

DonCorleYoni Sun 14-Apr-13 03:06:53

Doesn't sound like a mountain out of a molehill and gut instinct should be listened to.
I would be worried, especially as he is dismissive. Speaking to Child Protection or NSPCC would help with perspective. They might need to know how many children you have and their ages.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 14-Apr-13 03:13:04

Agree with NumTum, his reaction to you asking him to move out is ringing alarms bells for me. Refusing to move out doesn't feel good - a bit of a nasty man classic move I'm afraid...

It may not be deliberate cruelty and abuse, but it doesn't sound like he's controlling his anger or violence around your children either. Someone who cares deeply & loves his children would basically take more care, not keep 'accidentally on purpose' ending up hurting them. It doesn't sound caring, or respectful of them as vulnerable young humans... It sounds nasty & vindictive and insidious.

This deliberate carelessness has to stop, but it all sounds a bit scary and like you aren't the person who should wade in & try and make him stop, as it might make things alot worse and really dangerous. Sorry if that sounds over reacting, but please be safe not sorry

I am worried you are doubting and not sure what's happening, and that there may be alot of gas lighting going on, where you and your children aren't quite sure of the truth or reality. I've been there and it's a really awful place to be (hug).

Here's a question that might help see clearly... 'does your h accidentally hurt you, his friends or his colleague?' if the answer is no to hurting his family or work people... Then it does rather speak against any claim that 'it's an accident' or 'he can't help it'... If that was true he'd be doing it to everyone, not just his children.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 14-Apr-13 03:17:45

Oh and to reply to your last comment...

If you're scared... Then it's scary.

Full stop.

Emotions like that don't lie, they don't exaggerate and they don't make mountains out of molehills.

Can you keep posting? Maybe try and explain a bit about what he's like day to day? And how you are now? Not posting for me / us to read, but posting cos I've seen other people ( including me!) get alot of clarity and understanding from posting on here - especially when youre in a situation and your gut is telling you something and you're confused and not sure what's happening...

Hope you're alright.

NumTumDeDum Sun 14-Apr-13 03:18:30

Do please start a diary of incidents - this is very important when you are doubting yourself - it can be very easy when something so emotive and difficult happens to remember clearly and I think it will help you to focus. Please try and record what has happened to date- it will help you when talking to others such as chold protection. Have confidence, no one will criticise you for taking advice.

pinkyredrose Sun 14-Apr-13 03:20:02

Doesn't sound accidental to me. At best he's a thoughtless arsehole, at worse he's an abuser who sets his DC up into situations where he hurts them but pretends he didn't mean it.

I think you know what he us OP hence the asking him to move out.

TheRealFellatio Sun 14-Apr-13 03:20:42

How old are these children? It sounds as though their behaviour and aggression needs managing before his, although I agree he doesn't seem to handle all this conflict terribly calmly.

differentnameforthis Sun 14-Apr-13 03:24:14

I think more details are needed before people can shout "trust your instincts" to be honest.

How old are your children?

Over what period of time have these incidents occurred?

What, about the finger incident, can your ds now not remember?
(in my mind, not being able to remember it would mean that it wasn't as big a deal as it I being made out to be, but I am not living your life). Could it be that your dh went to look at the scrape & your ds moved away, so it got further hurt in that scuffle?

Is your dh a bully/has bullying tendencies?

they always complain to me, and I feel that I should always defend them so I do in that I have words with H and make him apologise to them

The thing that worries me is that you say they now tell you everything & each time you go & you tell your dh that it is unacceptable/tell him off/take your children's side/make him apologise. Do you do this visibly in front of them? Because children can use things to create a divide in relationships between their parents.

I am not saying I don't believe you, but there is, imo, too little information for anyone to comment. With the information I have here, it does seem that you too readily take against your dh.

differentnameforthis Sun 14-Apr-13 03:25:58

Refusing to move out doesn't feel good - a bit of a nasty man classic move I'm afraid...

Or it could just be that he is aghast at the way this is all playing out. It sounds to me like the op doesn't even give her dh a chance to explain his side. She dismisses him when he says he believes their ds1 is sensitive, what else is she dismissing?

Cerisier Sun 14-Apr-13 03:27:01

How come DS1 had an argument with his father when waiting for the antiseptic cream? Did he say what the argument was about?

It seems a very odd time to start on at a child when they have hurt themselves.

As others have said, make a record of what has happened and keep a record of future events. Keep it safe.

When you tried to talk to DH he didn't apologise or say he would be more careful in future but just dismissed your concerns. That doesn't sound like a thoughtful father. It all sounds very worrying.

Can you tell us a bit more about him? Is he generally very physical with everyone?

wannabedomesticgoddess Sun 14-Apr-13 03:28:40

Or perhaps the children are displaying agressive behaviour towards their father because that is how they have been shown to behave?

Its worrying OP and you have to listen to your gut. I think you should get advice from the places already mentioned on this thread. Is there a reason for him to hurt the children that you can see? Does he resent them? Overreact to things?

Whats his behaviour like in general?

differentnameforthis Sun 14-Apr-13 03:37:56

OP didn't say that her dh started the argument, Cerisier , merely that they had one. Nor does she say what the "argument" was about. Did she hear it? Did her dh say it happened? Or is it just her dcs take on what happened.

My dd recently fell over & scuffed her arm up pretty bad. I was busy when she decided to rip a dressing off it, so dh tried to redress it for her. She refused & ran off, but in the scuffle dh caught the scuff trying to get her to let him look at it. He hurt her, but it wasn't his fault as she struggled to get away from him. (I should add that dd is VERY much a mummies girl, she is not frightened of dh, she just wants her mum to do everything for her - just in case some of you think that dd was trying to get away because she was scared of him). She told me that dh hurt her, and when I asked him what happened, I could see exactly how it would have happened, and we dealt with it.

I have hurt my dc before. Accidents, again! Like the time I hit dds head on the car getting her into her car seat (misjudged the height of the car in a rush to get her in). It happens.

As I said, we have too little info here. I think the time scale is important, as it the ages of the children. And what about ds2? This is one incident with the youngest ds & a few with the eldest...could it be that ds1 just sees it all differently? How many of these incidents has op witnessed first hand, how many are being relayed to her by ds1? I am not blaming the ds at all, I think we need more info.

knackeredknitter Sun 14-Apr-13 03:57:50

Thanks for all the replies
I can see both points of view here, and would like to answer a few q's from differentNFT
Ds1 is aged 10, ds2 is 8, both are autistic. Ds1 can be aggressive, ds2 is more passive. H is more gentle with ds2, so no incidents.
Ds3 is 7 and has always been a handful but is not autistic. He can be quite energetic, just a typical boy. He doesn't always listen and H often loses his temper with him and shouts at him alot.
I can handle ds1's aggression by being consistent, never surprising him, giving a warning, I don't break promises, and I am even tempered. I keep my language with him clear, no ambiguities/double meanings and no sarcasm. H does the opposite of all this, and has even mocked him and laughed at him. Therefore, ds1 gets easily agitated by h and this leads to alot of confrontration. Ds1 is emotionally immature due to his asd, but is intellectually gifted, ds2 has learning difficulties, so h expects alot more from ds1 than ds1 is capable of, behaviour wise.
I also have dd, but she spends most of her time with me and ds4. So 5 children. Ds4 is just 20 months old, dd is 4. H often shouts at dd to stop screaming and crying aswell, so she does tend to stay away from him.
One thing that worries me, is that when the children are accidentally hurt by h, is when he seems to be angry anyway. I can't work out if there is more aggression from the children as a reaction to h's anger and shouting, or the other way around. I am also fed up of seeing that children and h seem to mirror each other, with childish anger, and I feel that H should be able to remain calm. I always manage to do so, so why can't he?angry
To other questions, no he definitely never hurts other people, although interestingly I think he has done it to me on a couple of occasions......

knackeredknitter Sun 14-Apr-13 04:02:04

I think keeping a log or diary of events sounds like a good idea so I can get some clarity.
None of the children are being bruised or anything as a result of the 'accicidents's, it just seems quite worrying to me that so many could happen whenever h is around.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sun 14-Apr-13 04:08:58

Im a bit loathe to post as ive been jumped on so heavily, but will have a last go to try and be supportive to the OP, even if my views aren't welcome.

Well it does sound a situation that's hard to deal with but I maintain that it's no excuse to repeatedly end up hurting your children. When everything is going ok how's his relationship with all of then? Is it that he needs help and teaching how to manage? Or is it more than that?

wannabedomesticgoddess Sun 14-Apr-13 04:10:01

I think your H could do well to realise rhat he is the adult.

Mocking his 10yo autistic DS. Disgusting.

knackeredknitter Sun 14-Apr-13 04:21:28

When everything is ok.....hmm.....well he often ignores them totally until something happens, and I am busy with the youngest, and he has to deal with an incident.
It can be exhausting and I am often shattered because ds1 and ds2 don't sleep at all well at night, and neither does ds4 at the moment due to teething. I am always the one up with all of them. H oftens says he will help but doesn't wake up when needed. I have regular bouts of 3 or 4 days at a time with 2 or 3 hours sleep. I then take a nap here or there when desperate ( as in literally falling asleep while standing), and the fact that h accidentally hurts the boys, means that I don't feel able to have any proper rest because it would mean leaving the children in his care totally and well...I can't. sad
I often don't go to the toilet until completely desperate either, because h is always 'busy'...
I have been helping him all along, with advice, and trying to not put too much pressure on him, but I feel as though I am a single parent, and need some help. I am exhausted, and can't keep doing everything which he has nice restful hobbies, goes out when he likes, has full nights of sleep. If I complain about this he accuses me of being resentful, and says he is tired as well, and not just me.........
I am fed up of parenting him as well as dealing with the many needs of my children, I wish he would just grow up and take a responsible role. I wish i could trust him to help me with the children......

knackeredknitter Sun 14-Apr-13 04:23:37

WannabeDG yes, it is disgusting.......which is why I always stick up for ds1, that is my default reaction because it has to be.

pinkyredrose Sun 14-Apr-13 05:05:03

Your 'D'H is an abusive arsehole. Deliberately picking on your eldest? Words fail me. He sounds emotionally stunted and about as supportive as a chocolate teapot.

He gets a full nights sleep every night while you can hardly find time to go for a piss? I'm sure you can see how wrong this is.

Listen.if he hasn't realised what being a parent entails after having 5 DC he's never going to. You would be much better off on your own and I'll bet my bottom dollar that your children would be happier and less stressed too.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 14-Apr-13 06:17:21

I don't think you're overreacting. At all.

But, even if they are all accidents you are still allowed to leave him of you aren't happy. You don't have to wait for one thing to be 'bad enough', if he makes you unhappy then that is a good enough reason, even if you can't prove anything else

To me even suspecting DH could be doing this would be the end, because if I really thought it was something he was capable of (and I do think it sounds like something your H is capable of) he wouldn't be the kind of man I'd want to be married to

welcometomysillylife Sun 14-Apr-13 08:08:24

If you suspect all these incidents are not accidental then you are probably right. The fact that you can't relax and leave the dc in your dh's care for any length of time says it all. You don't trust him.

differentnameforthis Sun 14-Apr-13 08:10:17

Thank you for answering my questions, knackered

I agree that you need to trust your instinct. I hope you don't think I was being difficult, or defending your dh earlier.

With the additional information it does sound like he is, at best, childish towards them (mocking etc isn't fair on anyone). Obviously I can't say if they were genuine accidents or not, but it does sound that he is, at best, too rough with them.

I am sorry that you feel so stuck!

JsOtherHalf Sun 14-Apr-13 08:18:15

Do you have any social work investment from a children's disability team? It may be worth asking them for more information/support.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: